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Comic Book / The Secret Service

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From the writer of Kick-Ass and the artist of Watchmen...who didn't draw this cover.
A 2012-2013 six issue mini series written by Mark Millar with art by Dave Gibbons. The story follows Gary, a teenager from East London who is living with his mother and her abusive boyfriend Darren, whilst spending his nights committing petty crimes. That is until his uncle Jack reveals to him that he is a secret agent and wants Gary to train to join the service. What follows is a James Bond-style spy thriller with crazy gadgets, mad scientists and world ending plots.

Has been loosely adapted into a movie by the title of Kingsman: The Secret Service directed by Matthew Vaughn and starring Taron Egerton and Colin Firth released in February 2015. After the release and success of the film, all subsequent collections and reference to the comic renamed it to Kingsman, a term that does not show up anywhere in the book.

Secret Service contains examples of:

  • All of the Other Reindeer: Averted; the other students seem to like Gary well enough, but are worried he's not good enough to become an agent. It is, however, implied that the students we see are the nice ones so this may be happening to some degree.
  • Beginner's Luck: Gary's results at the academy are extremely high and whilst life on the streets may account for his observation skills, it still doesn't account for his skill with weaponry.
  • Big Bad: James Arnold.
  • Brilliant, but Lazy: Jake believes this of Gary, but later feels that he just hasn't had the opportunity to make something of himself.
  • The Cameo: Mark Hamill appears at the beginning as a kidnap victim.
  • Celebrity Casualty: Mark Hamill dies when the rescuing agent's parachute doesn't deploy correctly.
  • Character Development: The series shows Gary's transition from a random street punk to a world class spy.
  • Establishing Character Moment: The first time we meet Gary he is expressing concern for his mother, wanting to watch a film legally instead of seeing a friend's pirate copy and trying to keep his stepfather from using his brother to roll his weed showing he is not entirely the stereotype he seems.
  • The Greatest Story Never Told: Jack points Gary to a wall of newspapers, citing how each one is from a day where he helped save at least England, if not the world. When a confused Gary says he just sees stories on celebrity scandals or random items, Jack says that's the point, that what they do is never known by the public.
    • The final scene has Gary continuing the tradition putting up a front page that has no record of his saving the day.
  • Hidden Heart of Gold: Whilst Gary does show some concern for the problems of his family no one would expect his heroism in the end.
  • Hyper-Awareness: One of Gary's key skills.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: After Gary sees that his mother's been beaten yet again, he tracks his stepfather down to a pub, uses a device to immobilize his stepfather and his stepfather's friends before beating them all into a pulp.
  • Politically Incorrect Villain: James Arnold gives horribly offensive nicknames for his disabled henchmen. For example his Dragon with leg prosthesis is nicknamed Gazelle.
  • Shout-Out: The list of deceased spies mentioned by Mr. Graves includes Simon Templar (The Saint); John Drake (Danger Man); John Steed (The Avengers (1960s)) and Nick Gambit (The New Avengers).
  • Smoking Is Cool: Jack teaches Gary to smoke with style.
  • Take That!: Gazelle mentions that of the celebrities they've kidnapped, William Shatner is the only one who seemed fine with Arnold's plan to wipe out most of humanity, but spare them.
  • Working-Class People Are Morons: The series goes out of its way to subvert this trope with both Gary and Jack.